صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني


say, they may be of use to buy men out of dangers or troubles : as Solomon saith, “ Riches are as a strong hold in the imagination of the rich man.” But this is excellently expressed, that it is in imagination, and not always in fact: for certainly great Riches have sold more men than they have bought out. Seek not proud Riches, but such as thou mayest get justly, use soberly, distribute cheerfully, and leave contentedly: yet have no abstract nor friarly contempt of them, but distinguish, as Cicero saith well of Rabirius Posthumus; “ It appeared that in his desire of enlarging his property, he did not look so much for gain to feed his avarice, as for the means or an instrument of doing good.” Hearken also to Solomon, and beware of hasty gathering of Riches: “He that hasteneth to be rich, will scarcely be innocent.” The poets feign, that when Plutus (which is Riches) is sent from Jupiter, he limps and goes slowly; but when he is sent from Pluto, he runs, and is swift of foot; meaning, that Riches gotten by good means, and just labour, pace slowly: but when they come by the death of others, (as by the course of inheritance, testaments, and the like) they come tumbling upon a man. But it might be applied likewise to Pluto, taking him for the Devil; for when Riches come from the Devil (as by fraud, and oppression, and unjust means), they come upon

speed. The ways to enrich are many, and most of them foul : parsimony is one of the best, and yet is not innocent; for it withholdeth men from works of liberality and charity. The improvement of the ground is the most natural obtaining of Riches; for it is our great mother's blessing, the earth's, but it is slow; and yet where men of great wealth do stoop to husbandry, it multiplieth Riches exceedingly. I knew a nobleman in England, that had the greatest audits of any man in my time: a great grazier, a great sheep-master, a great timberman, a great collier, a great corn-master, a great lead-man, and so of iron, and a number of the like points of husbandry; so as the earth seemed a sea to him in respect of the perpetual importation. It was truly observed by one, that himself came very hardly to a little Riches, and very easily to great Riches; for when a man's stock is come to that, that he can expect the prime of markets, and overcome those bargains, which for their greatness are few men's money, and be partner in the industries of younger men, he cannot but increase mainly. The gains of ordinary trades and vocations are honest, and furthered by two things, chiefly, by diligence, and by a good name for good and fair dealing. But the gains of bargains are of a more doubtful nature, when men shall wait upon others' necessity, broke by servants and instruments to

draw them on, put off others cunningly that would be better chapmen, and the like practices which are crafty and naught. As for the chopping of bargains, when a man buys, not to hold, but to sell over again, that commonly grindeth double, both upon the seller and upon the buyer. Sharings do greatly enrich, if the hands be well chosen that are trusted. Usury is the certainest means of gain, though one of the worst; as that whereby a man doth eat his bread,“ by the sweat of another's brow;"and, besides, doth plough upon Sundays. But yet, certain though it be, it hath flaws; for that the scriveners and brokers do value unsound men to serve their own turn. The fortune in being the first in an invention, or in a privilege, doth cause sometimes a wonderful overgrowth in Riches; as it was with the first sugar-man in the Canaries: therefore if a man can play the true logician, to have as well judgment as invention, he may do great matters, especially if the times be fit. He that resteth upon gains certain, shall hardly grow to great Riches; and he that puts all upon adventures, doth oftentimes break, and come to poverty: it is good therefore to guard adventures with certainties that may uphold losses. Monopolies and co-emption of wares for re-sale, where they are not restrained, are great means to enrich, especially if the party have intelligence what things are like to come into request, and to store himself before-hand. Riches gotten by service, though it be of the best rise, yet when they are gotten by flattery, feeding humours, and other servile conditions, they may be placed amongst the worst. As for fishing for testaments and executorships, (as Tacitus saith of Seneca, “Wills and orphans are caught as it were in a net”) it is yet worse, by how much men submit themselves to meaner persons than in service. Believe not much them that seem to despise Riches; for they despise them, that despair of them, and none worse when they come to them. Be not penny-wise: Riches have wings, and sometimes they fly away of themselves; sometimes they must be set flying to bring in more. Men leave their Riches either to their kindred, or to the public; and moderate portions prosper best in both. A great state left to an heir, is as a lure to all the birds of prey, round about to seize on him, if he be not the better established in years and judgment. Likewise glorious gifts and foundations are like sacrifices without salt, and but the painted sepulchres of alms, which soon will putrefy and corrupt inwardly: therefore measure not thine advancements by quantity, but frame them by measure ; and defer not charities till death: for certainly if a man weigh it rightly, he that doth so is rather liberal of another man's than of his own.

Ot Prophecies. I MEAN not to speak of Divine Prophecies, nor of heathen oracles, nor of natural predictions; but only of Prophecies that have been of certain memory, and from hidden causes. Saith the Pythonissa to Saul, “ To-morrow thou and thy son shall be with me." Homer hath these verses :

« Through the wide world th' Æneian house shall reign, And children's children shall the crown sustain.”

Æneid 3. line 97. DRYDEN,

A Prophecy, as it seems, of the Roman Empire. Seneca, the tragedian, hath these lines: “ An age shall come in future but late years, in which the ocean shall relax the present boundaries of things, and navigation shall discover new worlds, and Thule shall no longer be considered as the end of the land or world.”

A Prophecy of the discovery of America. The daughter of Polycrates dreamed, that Jupiter bathed her father, and Apollo anointed him; and it came to pass that he was crucified in an open place, where the sun made his body run with sweat, and the rain washed it. Philip of Macedon dreamed he sealed up his wife's belly; whereby he did expound it, that his wife should be barren: but Arislander the soothsayer told him his wife was with

« السابقةمتابعة »